Struggling with Depression

I am taking a break from writing about fun stuff like failed relationships, RVing, reality TV and my hatred of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m going to discuss my life a bit and a one-time battle I had with what I figure is depression. I’m going to tell you what I believed triggered it, what happened while I was fully into it and what got me out of it.

I had a telephone discussion with an ex. Mistake because she blames me leaving her for the misery she finds herself in these days. In fact, she finds great pleasure in letting me know all the crap she’s been through is not a result of her refusal to work full time like us savages, but due to the lack of support I gave her. Ok. Normally that wouldn’t  bother me, but this session was different. She blamed me for her not having any children. She told me she wanted to have three children and now she’s too old to have any (she is).

That made me feel bad. Then I thought sticking around her essentially ended my family line. She didn’t say so, but getting pregnant would have been difficult for her. And the fact of the matter is if she truly wanted to have a kid, we would have. Bottom line, you generally start kids with intercourse, and we weren’t having it. At least not with each other.

Anyway, I thought more about it until I could barely do anything. I would go to work, come home and get right into bed. I would lay there and let these “waves of blue” crash into me. Only after talking to a friend did I realize what was happening. She suggested I go see a therapist, which I did not. I was barely functioning but hardly anyone knew.

What got me through it? My cats. I did not always like cats. In fact, I never wanted to be around them. My cats took care of me. One of our cats would curl up next to me while I was in the fetal position. He would sleep next to me and purr. Our other cat, the anti social one, soon became much more friendly. Before long, both of them would come upstairs, get next to me and purr while my life was going into the tank.

Thats why I’m going to cry like a baby when my cats go. I really really owe them.

What snapped me out? Nothing in particular except a desire to get out of the pity party. I did. It was time to stop feeling sorry for myself and start doing something.

Not everyone can do that. Hardly anyone can do that. It’s very hard. Depression is a mo—- f—-r. It can hurt you badly.

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 Black Friday, Military Style

I can hardly get my wife to go Black Friday shopping. Recently, I’ve succeeded in getting her to go to Wal-Mart. She draws the line at military stores. They are simply not set up for high volume shopping.

Today, I went out there for a Mac Book Air. I purchased one, mostly because I was there fairly early. I hate purchasing items there because of the risk they are going to run out.

 The first person in line for them wanted to buy 20 of them, with the likely idea being they were going to resell them overseas. They were limited to the number of ID card holders, of which he had five with him. This is not uncommon for military stores. In some overseas locations, ration cards are used to prevent sales from U.S. military to the black market. If you’re buying $11,000 worth of a laptop computer, you’re not buying them for personal use.

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Jets Fan: What Do You Want Them to Do?

If you’re a Jets fan and you saw tonight’s 41-10 debacle against the Colts, you want something to be done. Usually, “something” means firing the coach, maybe the GM, but something must be done. You can’t stand for this.

For us fans of teams like the Raiders that have been bad for a long time, you kind of smile. Because you know the Jets are the kind of franchise whose fans don’t believe in a clean rebuild. The kind that has a very old owner who is desperate for an immediate Super Bowl win. By “rebuild”, I mean the kind of season where they can draft a player like a Von Miller or a Khalil Mack. The kind where they get a quarterback like an Andrew Luck or Cam Newton.

The problem with that is, Von Miller was a second overall pick. Mack was a fifth overall pick. Luck and Newton were first overall picks. Jets fans won’t stand for a season that bad. As long as they want easy, immediate fixes, that drought is going to continue.

If I were Jets fan, I’d look forward to a few years of bringing in guys like Tony Romo, like Terry Glennon, and going mediocre. Jets fan doesn’t want PAIN; they want to take what’s left of their defense, get a quarterback and go beat the Patriots. Which by the way, is not happening as long as Tom Brady is still competing at a high level. Oh yeah, there’s still Pittsburgh, Denver, Kansas City and Oakland.

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Total Disaster

In between Black Friday events, I’m watching DVRed Maury’s.

Sherry just found out her 19-year old son has a child with her former neighbor, 30-plus year old Lakeisha. Sherry claimed her son was sleeping with the woman when he was 17, and Lakeisha should be arrested. She also stated Lakeisha had been with another man when she started sleeping with her son.

Sherry, who told Maury she’d be a good grandmother, totally lost it after finding out the truth. The truth being that her son’s life has just been ruined by this woman who doesn’t appear to have much going on. Sherry says he’s going to spend his life babysitting. Um, this chick Lakeisha had total control over the “relationship” and probably wanted to get pregnant. 30-year old Lakeisha got pregnant by a teenager, likely by her own choice. Think about that for a minute.

Sherry wanted her son to go into the Navy. The son claims its all his mother’s idea. Maury told him if that’s what he wants to do, don’t give up on it. Hell, as selective as the services can be now, that dream — regardless of who initiated it — is over. I suspect he doesn’t have Harvard, Yale or Stanford as alternatives. So what’s he gonna do now?

Maury is pretending this is good news. Even the audience is getting in on the wonders of Lakeisha’s child. BSP knows it’s horrible, a total disaster for the young man. He’s so incredibly naive. The kid is probably going to go on welfare until Trump/Ryan get rid of it.

I’ve got to go get into line now. 

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Did We Mention Black Friday?

Now that our bitter post on the NFL is done, onto some fun stuff! As longtime BSP followers know, I’m a big fan of BLACK FRIDAY. Not so much a fan of BLACK THURSDAY, a portion of which is spent away from your family in order to get stuff.

If you’re a careful shopper as I am, you KNOW Black Friday is the best time of the year to get discounts on stuff you might actually need. For example, we knew our household appliances were getting long in the tooth. I upgraded all of our appliances, while keeping some of the old ones. I bought an LG french door refrigerator from Home Depot back in 2012. The refrigerator was $3500 regular price, but with discounts and the sale, I ended  up getting it for just under $2200. The old refrigerator? We put it in the garage, where it conked out two years later. It served its purpose as a beer fridge well before it’s demise. I’m still trying to figure out if its an easy fix like recharging the R134a before tossing it for good.

If you’re in decent financial shape, buy your appliances in advance, or otherwise, you’re stuck during a breakdown. Can’t tell you how often during that experience we saw young couples stressed over having to get their new refrigerator the same day, because their food was going bad. Around Black Friday (or Memorial Day) is the best time to get your appliances.

If you want to buy electronics, Black Friday is also your best bet … IF you are willing to get a lesser item. I almost ended up buying a television yesterday. This item is superb, but I looked through my salespapers and saw the same set at Costco for about $1300 less than the place I was scouting out sales. Another thing: I saw a MacBook Air in a sales paper for about $600 on Black Friday. It’s not as good as the one I purchased for my wife last year, but it has its most pronounced feature as my favorite: weight. I don’t carry my MacBook Pro when I travel, because the thing is just too heavy. I want the features of a Mac Book  while not having to lug it through airports, so I’m going to sit in line to get one.

Wherever that is. I know Best Buy has a deal on the 13.3″ but it’s not as good as the one I got last year on the same product.

A couple more things: If you need power tools, and want them to last a while, I’d go for the Home Depot’s GEN5X 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Kit (5-Piece). I bought this on a Black Friday pre-sale for $399 a couple of years ago. That’s $100 off. I know, you can go to Harbor Freight and get like five of these for the same price. This kit has a lifetime service agreement, where if anything goes bad … even a battery … they will replace it at no cost for the item.  Have to admit the warranty registration is a pain in the caboose. If you bought these things from Harbor Freight, you will be going there next Black Friday to get the replacement one at the same price. I don’t know about you but I want my power tools to last. I want them to be reliable.

One of my colleagues purchased this set. He used the impact driver to remove a tire when he got a flat. Stuck on the side of the road at one moment; headed towards home 30 minutes later.

I wish Camping World had something legitimate for Black Friday, but they can’t continue robbing you every other day if they gave steep discounts for stuff you can’t get on Amazon or in Wal-Mart. Well, I guess their Honda generator sale counts as discounted, but those aren’t “can’t find them anywhere else, ever” discounts.

One last thing about Black Friday: Don’t buy stuff just to buy stuff. I’m doing minimal Black Friday shopping this year, because I’m starting to look like a hoarder. We have a lot of stuff in the house.




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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you and your family are having a great Thanksgiving. Now let’s talk about Thursday Football. I was just reading an interview with John Madden. He was asked about the NFL’s declining TV ratings:

“Just look at the list of teams playing. It takes two. It’s not just one good team. You have to have two to have a great game, and there’s not a lot of great games. And we’re spreading it out more and more with fewer good teams, which makes it doggone impossible to have good games. If the games aren’t good, that’s part of it. Now there are other things: the Millennials, iPhone, and the stuff people do as they live differently.

Something has to be done about Thursday night football. It just doesn’t work. It’s not only a fan thing, it’s a team thing. It’s a safety thing. It’s a competitive thing. It doesn’t work. I know about money, and I know about business. Maybe you have to tweak stuff a little more. To help teams, maybe you get a bye the week before.

“On Thanksgiving, Washington has to travel to Dallas to play in Dallas, and they played Sunday night. That’s wrong. That’s an oops. You play a team on Sunday night and make them travel and play on Thursday. I remember in my coaching days, as players get older, it takes them longer to heal up from a Sunday game, and guys weren’t ready to play until Thursday or Friday.”

Great stuff from John Madden. He’s saying things we’ve mentioned on BSP before, where Thursday Night football is simply terrible. The big deal is scheduling. Whoever does the scheduling for the NFL is terrible. The NFL schedules Washington and Green Bay on a Sunday night, then make one of those teams play on the road on a short week. Then the league claims they are interested in player safety! When people like BSP bring up these points, the league says players know what they sign up for. While true, they don’t have to do it, but do so anyway.

Then you say you want a “good” game. Sure you do. This game today is as close as there is to a lock for the Cowboys. All the environmental factors are going against Washington; they’re behind before they step on the field. This tells me what I need to know about Dallas. If this game is even close, they are a pretender. If it’s not close, they might be an average team playing a soft schedule, which they are.

Did you notice Al Michaels has gone away from Sunday Night Football? He can’t even take following up Sunday night with Thursday and he’s not physically taking part in the action on the field! It’s brutal for all involved. Are we going to talk about the officials, working their part time job while having to do so on Thanksgiving? What about their families?

Meanwhile, I’ll be enjoying “Black Friday” in line at a Walmart. Kind of cool, I’ll be there with a bunch of Dallas fans missing the Cowboys so they can get a Stanley for $9.99.

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Jerry Jones has no business in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

It’s November 5th, and I was reading an August 23d column of MMQB. In particular, a fan’s comments to MMQB regarding Jones’ Hall of Fame candidacy:

I am a big fan, but I feel I need to point out how far off the mark you were in your Jerry Jones assessment. Jerry Jones introduced something to the NFL that wasn’t present before him: unadulterated greed. His marketing and sponsorship revenue increases gave the NFL a single provider for merchandise (Reebok, Nike), television (DirecTV) and video games. All of which were bad for the average fan. His “upping of the stadium game” has led to hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars foisted on taxpayers to subsidize stadiums of extreme extravagance. Ford Field cost under $500 million but was sufficiently nice to host a Super Bowl. Now stadiums have quadrupled in cost, which led to the Rams and possibly Raiders and Chargers to relocate. His introduction of greed also brought in new types of owners. Instead of passionate football people, greedy businessmen who will bastardize the game for a buck are everywhere. Jerry Jones helped turn football from a sport into a business, which has led to ownership solely focused on profit rather than fans or the good of the game. Jerry Jones mortally wounded the NFL. It’s just a matter of time until it bleeds out.

MMQB responded with:

You share the feeling of many anti-Jones people. I have heard from many of you. The fact is the NFL has grown in value exponentially in his time, and some people hate that. His franchise is worth 27 times what it was the day he bought it 27 years ago. But regarding the NFL “bleeding out”—have you seen the TV ratings, Anthony? Not trying to be flippant here, but the game won’t die because of Jones’s avarice. It will die only if the concussion/head trauma issues kill it, and those have little to do with Jones’ impact on football.

That’s why I enjoy reading older columns. MMQB HAS seen the TV ratings, and later asked fans about their decline. The thing MMQB and the league refuses to recognize is this: There are other things for people to do. There is so little time for recreation, we’ve kind of found alternatives to pro football. The biggest things going in pro football are video games and fantasy football. There’s not as much team loyalty anymore. The talk on Monday mornings is related to how did your fantasy team do instead of did the (team) win.  Meanwhile, the pure greed of NFL owners like Jerry Jones — the worst thing to happen to professional football, ever — will eventually topple the league. It’s true I hate the Cowboys but that stems from the fact their fans support this guy who, along with Bob McNair and Daniel Snyder, are destroying the league. These are guys who think making more money is the top priority, and winning is an occasional way to enhance the brand. They don’t give a crap about football and once the league starts its inevitable decline, they will bail on it as soon as possible. Their fans aren’t even smart enough to realize it. Changing rules — like making pass interference commonplace, for the sake of bringing in casual fans sends people like me packing.

I’m a former season ticket holder of two NFL teams. I spent thousands of dollars on the NFL up till about 5 years ago. What do I now do on Sunday afternoons? I do landscaping on my property, because seeing football isn’t that big a deal. It’s just hype, followed by commercials, followed by a series of penalties then afterwards, touting of a quarterback. I can DVR a game. If the Broncos are playing, I’m not even going to watch it. The sport has become utterly predictable, much like a soap opera. It’s a waste of time.


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Thank You For Your Service

I’m going to publish some of my drafts. Here’s one:

Today, someone thanked me for my ~ 21 years  in the military. I gave them a “thanks”, because it is nice. In fact, for many years of my service, I didn’t get a thanks. Earlier in my career, I received nothing from our civilians.

To say “thank you for your service” doesn’t really tell the entire story of my service, or that of others. For many of US doing service, it wasn’t a love of country that got us to serve, even though the great majority of veterans do love our country. There was something else propelling us to the enlistment (and re-enlistment) line. Examples are: A relative had joined the service. We needed a JOB. We would get a bonus for enlisting (or re-enlisting). We wanted an education. We needed a skill to fall back upon for our civilian lives. Then there are the True Believers, who think they can change the world. To some extent all of us in the service fall into the True Believers category. Very few of us are psychopaths, although some reveal this flaw in combat. A very few of us are heroes, although that quality shows up at different times, and unexpectedly for the most part.

I have to say, I received so much from the military and in turn, our civilians, they don’t owe me a “thank you.” I have a career after the service; a job where I live a pretty decent lifestyle because of the skills the military taught me. For that, I have to say thank you. I also believe I have the best pension ever. I learned that only 15% of the workforce gets a pension, and in exchange for “writing a blank check, including my life”, I get that pension.

I’ve deployed multiple times. I’ve never thought my life was in danger, even though I’ve found out in after-action reports, it was. I’ve also been physically beat to hell at different times, although it may not show. I have a bad back due to an incident that was less than memorable, a training exercise where I was trying to physically make up for a broken piece of equipment. I tried to lift a 300 lb piece of metal. The lift was a success; the physical stress failed my back. I dealt with that for 15 years where it would flare up now and then. It’s interesting that I hear from some of our Congress that since that wasn’t a “combat” injury, I don’t deserve compensation for it. Unfortunately, we don’t get a choice. If I hadn’t lifted that piece of metal, I’ve failed my mission. If I decided I wasn’t going to do it, I have to deal with legal consequences. When I hear those people say “it wasn’t combat”, I wonder what they would do in my place, and what happens when they get the boot for not doing what they were told to do … legal orders. It’s a little known fact, but there are a lot of training accidents in the military. A lot of people get hurt doing training, especially our most elite forces. Civilians think training is low risk, but it’s not. We train like we fight, and we fight hard.

Interestingly enough, one assignment took me to the Bay Area of California where I did part time work with a private firm in the information technology arena. Yes, Silicon Valley. I acquired an understanding of what real work is as a civilian. I loved it because I learned I could compete in private industry. At one point, I was offered a full time position with a well known firm. A really WELL KNOWN firm. I would have increased my military pay by nearly three times. I chose to stay with the military because I loved what I was doing in the service. It turned out to be a great decision for me personally but financially, I would have done better to leave the military at that point. It makes me kind of laugh when I listen to the warped perceptions military personnel have of private industry. They believe the streets are paved with gold, but fear the unknown. Unlike them, I no longer feared departure from the military because I knew I could compete in one of the most difficult areas to compete.

So you can continue to thank military people for their service. It’s a big deal to those of us who have been in the U.S. military that we’re far and away the greatest military ever. Only idiots want to fight the United States. We’re going to break a foot off in your ass. I think it’s interesting where ISIL, the Islamic State in the Levant (the area between Syria and Egypt,  east to Iraq) believes they are going to defeat the United States and its allies in battle where they mass troops. No way that happens without truly divine intervention, because that means instant defeat.  The United States knows how to deal death like no other entity in the history of the world. I mean even without having to resort to nuclear weapons. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, the United States is so good with its conventional weaponry, we hardly need nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are largely a deterrent against top level adversaries. A nation like Russia needs its nuclear weapons; their politicians need to rattle their nuclear sabres because they know they’d suffer heavy–unimaginable–losses to the United States in the event of conventional conflict. This is not World War II where you hurl hundreds of thousands of young men at the Nazi forces led by a madman. They’d get beaten and get beaten soundly:

I actually respect Russia’s conventional military forces. They have great weaponry and great personnel, but they don’t have the experience we have nor the flexibility in combat situations. At the senior level, the United States and Russian militaries actually have a decent level of respect and understanding of the other side; the politics just suck. Frankly, we are NATO. If there’s one instance where the U.S. military isn’t quite necessary, it’s against North Korea. Basically, we are in the Republic of Korea to keep the South from finally ending the nonsensical disaster that is the  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Republic of Korea could defeat the DPRK in battle, but the ultimate concern is over a mass homicide/suicide by the North.

No one besides psychotics, lunatics or other nutjobs (aka, ISIL) really wants to sign up to fight the United States. It’s not a winning formula.


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